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Recording King RK-O25 Madison Open-Back Banjo

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The Recording King RK-O25 Madison banjo offers players an unparalleled combination of quality, versatility and value. With a hand-rubbed satin finish...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

The sounds of the South rediscovered in this Recording King banjo.

The Recording King RK-O25 Madison banjo offers players an unparalleled combination of quality, versatility and value. With a hand-rubbed satin finish, a maple neck with adjustable truss rod and a true 2-ply steam bent maple rim, the Madison starts with a great foundation for a serious banjo.

Add professional appointments like dual coordinator rods, planetary tuners, nickel-plated hardware, and a Remo head, and the Recording King banjo probably beats any other banjo on the market at the same price. The Recording King Madison open-back banjo has 24 shoes for precision tuning and classic open-back sound.

FEATURES
  • 5-string banjo
  • Maple body wood
  • Remo frosted head top
    2-ply steam bent maple rim
  • 26-1/4" scale
  • Dual coordinator rod neck joint
  • Maple neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Thin C-shape neck
  • 22 frets
  • 1-1/5" nut width
  • Maple/ebony bridge
  • Planetary tuners
  • Nickel hardware
  • Polyurethane finish
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Recording KingRK-O25 Madison Open-Back Banjo
 
4.5

(based on 12 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

92%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good tone (10)
  • Well built / quality (6)
  • Consistent (4)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Practicing (9)
  • Back-up (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (8), Novice (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

I got the discontinued model, but still happy as a peach!

Context: I'm a jazz guitarist who has played Bluegrass Banjo in the past - wanted an open back to learn Clawhammer on.

This review is kind of moot, since Musician's Friend...Read complete review

Context: I'm a jazz guitarist who has played Bluegrass Banjo in the past - wanted an open back to learn Clawhammer on.

This review is kind of moot, since Musician's Friend shipped out the old, discontinued model - which actually I was THRILLED about. Although it's heavier, it is a 3-ply pot and has a warm bodied tone to it. After a set up, replacing the head with Remo Renaissance skin and train spikes, it plays beautifully. It's heft and loudness allows for better response from less effort on my part - you don't have to attack the strings. I like a meaty mellow mid-range plunk with a touch of cut and this delivers, even with a a pair of socks stuffed in the back of the head.

I jam with a friend who plays a Goodtime. For my money and my taste for warm plunky mids... this is the way to go if you don't mind the weight. Get it set up by someone who knows what they're doing. That goes for any instrument and it's worth paying for a pro who knows what they're doing. Always.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Overpriced!

This is the worst instrument and the worst banjo i've ever had. The worst tone, the worst feel, THE WORST TUNING PEGS.

I cannot believe how can you guys wrote that...Read complete review

This is the worst instrument and the worst banjo i've ever had. The worst tone, the worst feel, THE WORST TUNING PEGS.

I cannot believe how can you guys wrote that good reviews about this toy. Total waste! Nothing serious.

PS: This is my first review all of my life.

Reviewed by 12 customers

Displaying reviews 1-12

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great banjo for the money

By TomsTunes

from Minneapolis

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Good Tone
  • Quality build

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Folk jams
    • Practicing

    Comments about Recording King RK-O25 Madison Open-Back Banjo:

    Excellent instrument in the 500.00 range, as part of a summer acoustic sale for half the price it's a no brainer. Perfectly set up with proper head tension and string action out of the box ( you will need to place the bridge - there are on line videos ). Chose this over a GoodTime because of neck truss rod and dual connecting rods. Oh, and it sounds good, too.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Just Great

    By RevSpyder

    from Greenville, PA

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Excellent fit & finish
    • Good Tone
    • solid

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Backup
      • Practicing
      • Recording

      Comments about Recording King RK-O25 Madison Open-Back Banjo:

      This came perfectly set up out of the box. All I had to do was slip the bridge in and tune it up. Even the strings it came with were good. I am astonished at how much better this is than my entry level generic banjo I learned on. Easy to play, beautiful tone, Just really well made. I did switch out the bridge to one with a higher fifth string for clawhammer after a few days, but the bridge it came with was really good. I don't think I'll find a higher quality banjo unless I pay another thousand or more. I love it.

      This is an unbelievable banjo for the price. I have no idea how they do it, but my advice is get one before they're gone.

       
      5.0

      I would absolutely buy this again!

      By Mac

      from Waynesboro, PA

      About Me Novice

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent
      • Strong

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Backup
        • Concerts
        • Practicing

        Comments about Recording King RK-O25 Madison Open-Back Banjo:

        While I am a novice with the Banjo, I am an experienced musician and have played semi-professionally for 30 plus years. I know quality when I see it. The instrument arrived on schedule and in fine condition. It was ready to play right out of the box with it only needing tuning. No other adjustments were necessary. I'm delighted with the sound, the feel, the balance etc. I almost feel as if I stole it having gotten it on sale for nearly half price!

         
        5.0

        seems nice

        By Jeb Stuart

        from Williamsburg Va

        About Me Novice

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Good Tone
        • Strong

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Practicing

          Comments about Recording King RK-O25 Madison Open-Back Banjo:

          easy to set up and tune. My first banjo. Stays in tune too. Very happy with the banjo and company, Already learned 2 clawhamer songs.

          Jeb s

           
          5.0

          My Favorite

          By OldieButNewbie

          from Central Florida

          About Me Novice

          See all my reviews

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Good Tone

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Recording King RK-O25 Madison Open-Back Banjo:

              Love this banjo. It gets the most play time of any of my banjos. Love to look of the shoes and hooks. Love the sound, the weight, the action, and of course the value. Thanks RK

               
              5.0

              i WOULD PURCHASE AGAIN

              By Photogal

              from Cape Cod, MA

              About Me Novice

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent
              • Good Tone
              • Long Life
              • Strong

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Practicing

                Comments about Recording King RK-O25 Madison Open-Back Banjo:

                Love my new Banjo!

                 
                5.0

                I got the discontinued model, but still happy as a peach!

                By Scroobulous Pete

                from Los Angeles, CA

                About Me Experienced

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Consistent
                • Good Tone
                • Strong

                Cons

                • Heavy

                Best Uses

                • Backup
                • Practicing

                Comments about Recording King RK-O25 Madison Open-Back Banjo:

                Context: I'm a jazz guitarist who has played Bluegrass Banjo in the past - wanted an open back to learn Clawhammer on.

                This review is kind of moot, since Musician's Friend shipped out the old, discontinued model - which actually I was THRILLED about. Although it's heavier, it is a 3-ply pot and has a warm bodied tone to it. After a set up, replacing the head with Remo Renaissance skin and train spikes, it plays beautifully. It's heft and loudness allows for better response from less effort on my part - you don't have to attack the strings. I like a meaty mellow mid-range plunk with a touch of cut and this delivers, even with a a pair of socks stuffed in the back of the head.

                I jam with a friend who plays a Goodtime. For my money and my taste for warm plunky mids... this is the way to go if you don't mind the weight. Get it set up by someone who knows what they're doing. That goes for any instrument and it's worth paying for a pro who knows what they're doing. Always.

                 
                1.0

                Overpriced!

                By O. Semer

                from London

                About Me Experienced

                Pros

                  Cons

                  • Poor Tone Quality

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Recording King RK-O25 Madison Open-Back Banjo:

                    This is the worst instrument and the worst banjo i've ever had. The worst tone, the worst feel, THE WORST TUNING PEGS.

                    I cannot believe how can you guys wrote that good reviews about this toy. Total waste! Nothing serious.

                    PS: This is my first review all of my life.

                     
                    5.0

                    No frills awesome banjo

                    By banjo Al

                    from Michigan

                    About Me Experienced

                    Pros

                    • Consistent
                    • Good Tone
                    • Strong
                    • Very well built with great fit and finish.

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Backup
                      • Concerts

                      Comments about Recording King RK-O25 Madison Open-Back Banjo:

                      f you don't know banjos you will need it set up by a professional. After I set it up, head tension, better bridge and adjusted string clearance it plays and sounds amazing. Good choice for playing claw hammer. The tone after the set up is incredible.

                       
                      5.0

                      Solid banjo

                      By Ghostrider

                      from FWB FL USA

                      About Me Experienced

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Good Tone

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Practicing

                        Comments about Recording King RK-O25 Madison Open-Back Banjo:

                        Surprising bright and loud for not having a tone ring. Great upgrade from my old bottle cap banjo.

                         
                        3.0

                        PayPal Learning Experience

                        By AD

                        from Havana, FL

                        About Me Experienced

                        See all my reviews

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Good Tone

                        Cons

                        • Nut was not attached.

                        Best Uses

                        • Practicing

                        Comments about Recording King RK-O25 Madison Open-Back Banjo:

                        The Banjo seems okay for the money. It was on sale. I'm not sure I would pay the MSRP for it.

                         
                        5.0

                        A great buy! I'd buy another in a heartbeat.

                        By revellfa

                        from LaVale, Md.

                        About Me Experienced

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Good Tone
                        • Strong

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Practicing

                          Comments about Recording King RK-O25 Madison Open-Back Banjo:

                          Played and owned many banjos throughout my entire life. I've heard the comparisons for entry level banjos such as the Goodtime, Cripple Creek, and now the RKs. In a nutshell the pros of this RK are the appearance, the presence of a truss rod. Overall I'd have to say that the guitar tuners of a Goodtime are overall better than those that come on this RK which is it's only downfall. It is a solid instrument that will last a long time and with the reassurance of a truss rod there is no need to worry about the neck. Overall I'd put this banjo ahead of the Goodtime and the Cripple Creek is out of the running for an entry level banjo due to the introduction of this model from RK! Better getcha one! I got mine as a Stupid Deal of the Day and the hardware on the banjo was worth more than the price I paid.

                          Displaying reviews 1-12

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